MP Assembly Bypolls: Shivraj-Scindia See Off Spirited Challenge from Kamal Nath to Retain Power

Vivek Trivedi
·2-min read

Bhopal: The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government was poised to retain power in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday with the BJP winning three seats and leading in 15 others, comfortably more than the eight seats it needed to secure power in the state.

A total of 28 seats had gone to the polls, necessitated by the rebellion of Congress MLAs who followed senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia into the BJP and effectively brought down the Kamal Nath government seven months ago. Three of these bypolls were necessitated by the deaths of sitting legislators.

The BJP needed to win eight seats to secure simple majority in the 230-member Assembly, whose effective strength is 229. Before the bypolls, the BJP currently had 107 MLAs, while the Congress had 87.

As per the 4pm count, the BJP had won three seats -- Mandhata, Suwasra and Badnavar with Narayan Patel, Hardeep Singh Dang and Rajyawardhan Singh Dattigaon emerging victorious respectively.

Counting of votes began at 8am and the BJP raced away with initial leads, widening the margin as counting progressed. When trends started to hold, celebrations broke out outside BJP head-office in Bhopal as supporters and workers celebrated with drums and sweets.

“Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh had engaged in corruption and looted the state. He also challenged BJP workers with unlawful action, and these workers are replying to him today,” senior BJP leader VD Sharma said, joining in in the celebrations.

“Public seems committed to development and welfare and it is evident the voters have decided to hand us the responsibility,” tweeted CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Conceding defeat, Congress unit president and former CM Kamal Nath said, “Whatever the public mandate, it is paramount for us. We will accept the result.”

Party colleague and ex-CM Digvijaya Singh, however, alleged EVM tampering. “EVMs are not tamper-proof, and selective tampering is done. There are seats that we would have not lost under any circumstances, but we did by thousands of votes. We'll hold a meeting tomorrow and analyse the results,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.

Jyotiraditya Scindia’s aides, including Pradyumn Singh Tomar, Imati Devi and Munnalal Goyal, all led from Gwalior, Dabra and Gwalior East seats. However, Scindia loyalist ministers Girraj Danditiya, Aidal Singh Kansana and Jajpal Jajji were trailing in the evening.

The BSP had also fielded candidates on all seats, but was leading only in Morena, where Ramprakash Rajoria was leading with over 10,000 votes.

A close fight was witnessed in seats like Bhander, Agar, Mahgaon, Ashoknagar and Ambah with margins as narrow as 1,000 votes.